Lukman Niode: Good bye, Olympian

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Lukman Niode, the Indonesian swimming legend, is now gone. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Grief has swept the Indonesian sports world, especially swimming. Indonesian swimming legend Lukman Niode has passed away on Friday 17 April. “Lucky”, as he was nicknamed, died of Covid 19. 

At first the news was that he had died of pneumonia and kidney disease; however, the family confirmed that Lucky did indeed die due to Covid-19. The deceased was buried in the Jakarta Jeruk Purut Cemetery. 

Lucky’s initial complaint was a bad feeling in the stomach. “He was suffering from pain around the left rib, so I recommended he go to the doctor. Then he left with his wife to a 24-hour clinic. At that time, he reported to the doctor that he was running a fever,” said Idrus Niode, Lucky’s brother was quoted as saying by CNNIndonesia. 

“After filling his prescription for medications, he was struck with hiccups. Finally, a few days later, Thursday, April 9, he went to Setia Mitra Hospital to be treated in the emergency room, but at night complained of feeling unwell again. From there a day later to Pondok Indah Hospital [RSPI].” 

In treatment at RSPI, Lukman again claimed to be healthy after receiving drugs and infusions. Idrus stated that his brother’s condition declined again after returning from the hospital. Feeling he was breathing heavily, Lukman returned to RSPI on Monday (4/13) morning. 

During the second visit, Lukman underwent a series of examinations, such as x-rays and rapid tests. The result, Lukman was declared negative and it was precisely his wife who was declared positive Covid-19. 

“His wife was told to go home for isolation. Lukman was cured at the hospital. At that time he was looking for a hospital and was able to get to Pelni Hospital. This was a complaint when he was still having fever and severe breathing, but on the way to Pelni Hospital, a ventilator was installed.” 

Lukman’s condition had worsened, so the doctor asked permission from the family to use a heart shock device. Wednesday 15 April, through a swab test, it was found out that Lukman was positive for COVID-19. 

“After being found positive, we received information on Thursday (4/16) that his condition was declining. By Friday afternoon, we were informed that Lukman was gone, at 12.58.” 

Ironically, before he died, Lukman actively volunteered for handling Covid-19 at the Office of the Presidential Secretariat. He also spearheaded the birth of the Indonesian Olympian Association (IOA) Concern for Covid-19 in helping to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Lucky was the first to put forth the idea of IOA Cares Covid-19 since this outbreak hit Indonesia,” said Lingling Agustin, Treasurer of IOA. To realize this desire, said Lingling, IOA had submitted a letter of support for CoO-19 IOA Cares activities to the Minister of Energy and Human Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif and the Minister of Transportation Budi Karya. 

“The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources has promised to help. Likewise with Mr. Budi Karya. Unfortunately, Mas Lucky’s sincere intentions have yet to be realized. Moreover, IOA canceled hearings with Budi Karya who had also been attacked by Covid-19. Since then, Yayuk Basuki as the IOA General Chair instructed all management to work from home according to the government’s recommendations,” Lingling explained. Failing to realize his proposal, Lucky then volunteered at KSP. 

Lucky Shiny’s achievements were in the swimming pool. At the age of 14 he was able to win three gold medals in the 1977 National Sports Week (PON). He also won three gold medals during the 1977 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

At the 1979 SEA Games in Jakarta, Lucky secured five gold medals. Two years later during the 1991 SEA Games in the Philippines, he won four gold medals to the Indonesian Contingent. The 1983 SEA Games in Singapore had three gold medals in the alphabet and one gold medal won when the 1987 SEA Games in Jakarta became the last SEA Games for him. 

He also won a medal at the Asian Games event. From three entries in the Asian Games from 1978 to 1986, Lucky collected three silver medals and four bronze medals. 

Lucky also participated in five swimming championships from 1978 to 1987. His climax was representing Indonesia at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. 

Good bye Olympian, thank you for all the achievements and pride that you have given to this country. (RP)